08/28/2012 - Hurrincane Isaac to Hit Central Illinois Saturday
WJBC - Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON --“ Hurricane Isaac could bring some much needed rain to Central Illinois this Labor Day weekend, but not enough to cure the drought."
Meteorologist Chris Miller with the National Weather Service in Lincoln said the storm is expected to make landfall in southeast Louisiana this evening and make its way up the Mississippi River valley. He said by late Saturday night, current predictions show the center over East Central Illinois.
"There could be some isolated wind gusts during the day Saturday and Saturday evening. Rainfall amounts could be pretty good amounts", Miller said. "Right now we're looking at three, four inches of rain across McLean County in the latest projection.
But, Miller warns remnants sometimes slow down or take a different path.
He said the storms won't produce a lot of lighting, but said there will be dangers from heavy rainfall and flooding in low lying areas. The rainfall amounts wont be enough to cure the drought.
"I'll make a dent, a small dent in some areas. But, it's going to help. Every little bit helps. Particularly if we can follow this up with some additional rainfalls over the next two to three weeks," Miller said.
So far this year, Bloomington-Normal is about ten inches below average in rainfall amounts. The farther south you go in Illinois, the worse the deficits get. Miller said since July 1, 2011, Bloomington-Normal is about 12 inches below average.
Miller does warn weekend travelers. "Anyone who has any outdoor plans, especially since it's the Labor Day weekend, if anybody is going to be traveling from late Friday through Saturday into early Sunday, you're going to have to really watch out for the rainfall amounts," Miller said.
Hurricane warnings cover a 280-mile stretch to the Florida-Alabama state line. Isaac could flood the coasts of four states as it moves closer to New Orleans. It's moving toward shore on the eve of the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie@wjbc.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Emergency Event 20120829AIC